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Top devices at Mobile World Congress

From headsets that help you lose weight without dieting to a smart meat thermometer, here are some of the interesting devices on display at the Mobile World Congress which got underway on Monday in Barcelona.
Spanish Olympic Athlete, Maria Azucena Diaz, tests the body sensors. Credit: ElPais
Spanish Olympic Athlete, Maria Azucena Diaz, tests the body sensors. Credit: ElPais

Elite athlete body sensors

Vodafone is working with a group of specialist scientists, the world’s best marathon runners, and other industry partners in a project called SUB2 that is demonstrating how science and technology can fairly help athletes improve their performance.

Last year Vodafone built a SUB2 smartwatch app to provide telemetry with enhanced location tracking using mobile networks.

Working with partners, Vodafone engineers have now enabled a series of body sensors to communicate with theĀ app over a mobile network:

  • Contact time, cadence and strike angle - motion sensors from Gait Up, a spin-out from the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) and the Swiss Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL), provide running efficiency metrics that will help physiologists working in coaching teams to determine an athlete’s running mechanics and communicate advice for injury avoidance and performance enhancement;
  • 3D visualisation – technology from a start-up called Notch can reconstruct running movements in 3D on a smartphone or laptop, which can help those responsible for an athlete's care and performance implement corrective running strategies; and
  • Skin and land surface temperature – using sensors from French lab Bodycap the SUB2 app can now inform elite athletes if they are hotter than expected during a run and should change their water intake strategy. The team expect to also be able to show core temperature within the app in the near future.

Smart bike lock

Tired of bending down to lock your bike? A team of South Korean engineers have developed a small circular device that is installed on the hub of the front wheel and is connected to the owner's smartphone via Bluetooth.

When the bike owner stops riding and walks away, the device - dubbed Bisecu - automatically locks itself. When the rider returns, it detects that too and it will unlock.

Any thief who tries to ride off with the bike would find the front wheel frozen in position - and a 100-decibel alarm would also be triggered and the owner notified on their phone that the bike is being tampered with.

Weight loss headset

British startup Neurovalens presented a headset that generates a low-level electrical pulse which sends a signal to the brain to burn fat and lose weight.

The company's head Jason McKeown said 80% of those who have used the Modius headset have lost weight. It comes with an app that allows you to track your progress.

Wireless meat thermometer

Knowing how long to cook meat can be tricky, and you often need to check the oven multiple times to make sure you don't overcook it.

The Meater, a wireless meat thermometer about the width of a standard pen, lets you monitor how your meat is doing from an app on your phone.

It works like any other meat thermometer, except it communicates with your phone via Bluetooth or wi-fi.

"The app has been designed to monitor the internal temperature of the oven or barbecue and the internal temperature of the meat," said Matt Blyden, Meater's marketing manager.

"You chose on the app how you would like the meat cooked, whether it is rare, medium or well done, and the app tracks the temperature. When it nearly gets to that point it beeps on your phone."

See through walls

Can I really pierce this wall or is there a pipe behind it? Israeli 3D imaging company Vayyar has developed a sensor that uses radio waves to "see" through materials.

Stick the sensor on your mobile and when you place your handset on the wall, what is behind it appears on the screen.

"It is almost like a new kind of camera that opens up capabilities that were not there before," said Vayyar director of marketing Malcolm Berman.

Smart glasses

US firm Vuzix presented its latest augmented reality glasses which connect to your smartphone, allowing text messages to appear before your eyes as you walk through the streets.

The glasses can also give you directions via GPS on the screen and if you want to take a picture you don't need to take out your phone.

Just tap the side to open the photo app, look at what you want to photograph and the glasses take the snapshot.

Source: AFP

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